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Backfield Battle

Postby slowkidz » Mon Aug 09, 2004 1:57 pm

Backfield battle



PITTSFORD, N.Y. (AP) - William Green took several
steps forward Friday in trying to regain his
position as the Cleveland Browns' starting
running back and his place in the hearts of their
fans.

Green, now behind second-year back Lee Suggs on
Cleveland's depth chart, broke loose for a long
gain during the Browns' first of two joint
practices with Buffalo at the Bills training camp
site in suburban Rochester. The two teams will
hold a scrimmage Saturday.
Green's run was impressive enough to elicit a
cheer from fans.

''It was good to hear the crowd,'' Green said.
''On the offensive line, everybody did a good job
and I took it to the hole.''

Green also caught the attention of coach Butch
Davis.

''Our running backs looked good,'' Davis said.
''William Green, in particular, had really good
runs, like the inside run this morning where he
was able to get into the secondary.''

And it didn't seem to matter that Green fumbled
once in the afternoon.

''I don't think that's a problem,'' Davis said.

Green, the Browns' first-round pick in the 2002
draft, is attempting to make a comeback and, in
the scrimmage against Buffalo, will line up
against his first opponent since October. He
missed one game because of a shoulder injury, and
the final eight because of a suspension for
violating the NFL's substance-abuse policy.

The troubles opened the door for Suggs to get his
chance, coming off the reserve-non-football
injury list, to play seven games last season. He
gained just 289 yards rushing, with 186 of those
in the season's final game against Cincinnati.

Suggs has come to camp eager to retain the top
spot and show that his performance against
Cincinnati was no fluke.

''It didn't matter whether I had fresh legs or
not,'' Suggs said. ''I'm still one of the fastest
people on the field.''

Both backs said the competition for playing time
is good.

''It's a nice, healthy competition,'' Green said.
''It's pushing both of us to do better, and the
coaches know they have two good running backs.''

Memories of last season are also pushing Green.

''I learned it's not a place I want to be,''
Green said. ''To be off the field, especially
watching your teammates play, is something I
don't want to experience again.''

Suggs is familiar with competing for a job,
having also shared playing time at Virginia Tech
with Kevin Jones, now a Detroit Lions rookie.

''The competition is going to be good for the
whole team,'' Suggs said.

Right guard Kelvin Garmon agreed, saying, ''I
think we're going to surprise a lot of people.''

Garmon, however, didn't give any insight into
which running back might win a majority of the
playing time.

''I don't even see the numbers,'' he said. ''I
just see a guy hitting the hole.''

Notes: Not every Browns player made the trip.
Most notable by his absence was unsigned
first-round draft pick, TE Kellen Winslow Jr.,
who remained in Houston working out because his
contract negotiations are at an impasse. ... LB
Andra Davis was excused to attend his
grandfather's funeral in Florida. ... Among those
sitting out were WR Frisman Jackson (sore knee)
and DL Jamal Reynolds (sore back). AP-CS-08-06-04
2008EDT
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Postby MadScott » Mon Aug 09, 2004 7:35 pm

Okay, now I'm thoroughly confused. Didn't Suggs just have a great scrimmage, 80 yards, the other day and it looked like he was stepping forward?
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